Two people aware of the ongoing Jet Airways stake sale process said a final decision on Goyal’s eligibility was expected by Tuesday, when the cash-strapped airline's lenders were also expected to formally declare the names of all eligible bidders. These bidders would be allowed access to Jet Airways’ data room before they can place binding bids by the end of May.
Potential buyers were allowed to bid for as much as 75% of the carrier till Friday evening. Goyal, who was ousted from the airline in March, was allowed to submit an expression of interest (EoI) on the condition that he bid as part of a consortium with other investors where he would hold a minority stake. But those terms were not met in Goyal’s bid, the people cited earlier said, leading the lenders to take legal opinion before taking a final decision on the eligibility of the bid.
Among the bidders, NIIF had been exempted from submitting an EoI as it is a quasi-sovereign wealth fund and had automatically qualified for the next round, said the two people cited earlier.
The four bidders, including NIIF, would be “conducting independent due diligence of the airline", the first person said. “However, there is a strong possibility that Etihad, TPG Capital and NIIF may form a consortium to jointly bid at a later stage."
“The bidding process for orderly sale of equity in Jet Airways is currently being run by SBI Caps and is being vetted by the legal team. The prospective bidders will be shortlisted by SBI Caps shortly," said a spokesperson for SBI.
“The proposed equity conversion by banks, if any, will be undertaken as a transitory mechanism to facilitate the bidding-cum-sale process," the spokesperson added.
In his email to Jet Airways employees, Dube said, “Please note that the current status of our engagement with the lenders and other related matters shall be placed before the board in the meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning, where the management will seek guidance from the board on the next steps forward."
A copy of the email was reviewed by Mint.
Jet Airways on Monday met the lenders with a fresh demand for interim funds.
The carrier, which is gasping for fresh funds, may see its operations grounded temporarily if it fails to raise money in the days ahead.
The airline had last week suspended international operations till 15 April.
The airline has held back salaries since January to a section of its staff, including pilots, engineers and general managers. In addition, it has deferred March salaries to all its employees, as it continues to battle financial woes.
A senior Jet Airways pilot, who is a member of the NAG board, said that the airline’s management was yet to convey the decisions taken by the lenders during their meeting on Monday.
“We will decide on the next course of action after we meet member pilots of the union at open-house sessions in Mumbai and Delhi. We will then take a decision on whether we will continue flying," the pilot said on condition of anonymity.
Apart from deferred interest payments to banks, and dues to fuel suppliers and oil marketing companies, Jet Airways has put off lease payment to aircraft lessors, which has resulted in the grounding of most of its fleet.
On Wednesday, Jet Airways shares rose 0.52% to ₹261.80 apiece on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex rose 0.36% to end the day at 38,905.84 points.